“As long as they are bound by their Nazirite vow, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything that comes from a grapevine—not even the grape seeds or skins.” Numbers 6:4 NLT
Surely this is a lesson to the Lord’s separated ones, teaching us to come away from sin in every form—to avoid not only its obvious manifestations, but even its spirit and likeness. This kind of strict caution is not popular these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and happiest way to live. The one who yields a point or two to the world is in fearsome danger; the one who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crack in the dike in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap opens quickly until an entire province is drowned. Conformity to the world, in any degree, is a trap for the soul, making it more and more liable to larger, presumptuous sins. A Nazirite who drank grape juice could never be entirely sure whether it might not have begun to ferment, so he could not be certain in heart that his vow was intact. In a similar way, the Christian who flirts with sin cannot enjoy a clear conscience. Questionable thoughts and behaviors do not need to be questioned; they are wrong to us. We must not toy with temptations, but flee them with all speed. Better to be mocked as a Puritan than despised as a hypocrite. The careful way of life may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own that are more than a sufficient reward. - Spurgeon
This is certainly what faces the Church today. Every believer faces this on some level, even before they pick up the newspaper, before they listen to the radio or watch TV. It can begin just by getting dressed. What you wear will influence you and those around you. What you look like to yourself is one thing what others see can be just about anything.
A whole lot is said, oftentimes, without saying a word.
But then we get dressed. We quickly check ourselves over. All looks good. Yet is it? Think about that passage above. Think about what Spurgeon was getting at. We are living in a culture that has been quietly desensitizing believers and unbelievers alike. To be honest it's been made into a mocking joke of What Would Jesus Do.
Does your even your appearance bring honor to God, or to something else?
People today, any I have found even Pastors of church's on down, downplaying the seriousness of what God was saying about the severity of toying with temptations. Of even them forgetting what Paul wrote of himself when he was so observant of his actions that if anything he did in the freedom imparted to him in Christ would cause some unbeliever to stumble, he wouldn't do it.
Does what you look like show modesty?
Does what you look like show that you are divided in your life between God and an idol? An idol? Yes, an idol. I have seen this proven time and time again. Have seen believers so passionate about people, celebrities, sports figures, sports teams than they are about God! The Bible is clear, you cannot serve two Masters.
I have personally had people, plural, tell me that they would pray for me because I wasn't a fan of their team. Obviously, God doesn't approve of that, so I really wondered who they intended to pray to.
In our childhood parents introduce idolatry without knowing it. It's just been something handed down generation to generation. It was just something done. People face less stress and strife when they fit in with others. Football jerseys. Baseball jerseys. Movie themed t-shirts.
Political pins were once the thing.
It's all there in front of you and I.
Do we spend time with Jesus daily, not just 3 times a minute or two in quick prayer, but really good valuable time?
Or are we more willing to blow 2 hours with a movie than 2 hours with God?
Are we more willing to blow several hours watching a sporting event than 1 hour with God?
Will we spend an hour watching television, even the news, but won't give God 15 minutes a day?
Do we promote strife between us and others by our allegiance to a team, rather than open arms to share Christ?
We are unknowingly taught at an early age how to flirt with temptations. How if it isn't hurting anybody it's ok. How much joy can be had if we just lighten up and not be so serious. We are immersed in it in schools. God was taken out, but Satan never left. Not only had he not left, he was promoted to the head of the class. He pushed aside teaching about God's creation. Encouraged teaching of the lie of evolution. Teaching that it's ok to basically bully someone, because it will make the bullier look good and the one being bullied either give up or fight back. Strife. It caused idolatry in the form of backing their teams to plant the seeds of adulthood idolatry in professional teams.
Vanity takes hold when looks are all important. Young girls basically dressing like harlots. No modesty at all. Toying with young boys and when an incident happens nobody wants to take the blame.
As I said, Satan was allowed to stay and have his way.
As adults, we face it in greater detail. Your job, your house, your detailing your yard. To have that look of success in the world's eyes.
How on-board you are with your company.
How you must sacrifice to show your allegiance to your company. How it will affect your image.
No where seen is how it had affected your relationship with God.
You spend so much time watching television, movies, news, the internet that yet another day goes by where your Savior was forgotten about again.
If you are doing life without Christ then you are not living life, you are avoiding it.
Life, for the believer, is lived IN Christ. WITH Christ. IN Christ we are a new creation. IN Christ we are His workmanship.
Scripture says we are soldiers for the cause of Christ. That a soldier does not entangle himself in the affairs of the world around him. But had his attention on whom he is in service to.
How has sin crept into your life?
For me, it was indeed an eye opening thing when someone told me that because I wasn't a fan of their team that they would pray for me.
I hear that man's voice echo in my mind.
It made me look at myself. I was not saying it but was doing the same thing as him. I had the shirts for 'my team'. I had cups, posters, wall hangings. I was shown more by God of other things in my life.
Remember when Christ comes into your life, your heart and mind are His to go through. It's a Spiritual case of the cable show Hoarders. We give Him all right to go through every part of our lives, to remove or change whatever is in conflict with becoming more like Him.
I was shown many areas where I needed to make a choice. Honor Him or honor someone or something else.
Things as little as knickknacks can be the beginning of a wrong path in my life.
Peter was indeed being restored by Jesus when Jesus asked him three times do you love me?
It was breaking Peter's heart. He was broken before Christ. He thought his hope of life was over. Yet he was shown forgiveness and was restored.
So look at your life.
Do you love Jesus? Look around you as I need to do, does your life reflect Jesus or does it reflect the world?
As many a song has said this world is not our home. We are just passing through.
Ours belongs to the Kingdom of God.
People are needing to choose between Heaven or Hell. Are we helping them not to choose Heaven? Are we showing them that Jesus is an ok guy or are we showing them who He is, how important your relationship is with Him.
That's for you to think about. I still have areas to let go of. Part of the two edged sword of asking Jesus to show me more is that He will. About myself and about Him. Then it's up to us to deny the importance of obedience to Christ or to submit to it.
It's hard. Because you will indeed fall into the footsteps of Christ. People won't accept you. You will face opposition.
Jesus said that would happen if you did. An interesting way to see you are indeed saved and are going the right way.
Don't take it from me. Read...
"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4
How much do you love me? - Jesus